There is just more than a month left in the Lakers’ season and for that time Mike D’Antoni will remain the Lakers coach.
That’s the report from Ramona Shelburne and Dave McMenamin at ESPNLA, which was always the logical decision despite some ugly losses (48 points to the Clippers, which sparked GM Mitch Kupchak and co-owner Jim Buss to sit down separately with D’Antoni).
After a series of discussions following a stretch of historically bad losses this week, the Los Angeles Lakers do not believe an in-season coaching change will help the team and remain inclined to support Mike D’Antoni over the final 19 games of the season, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com.
What would be the point of a coaching change right now? That was true even before the upset win over the Thunder — the Lakers are going to be bad and get a high draft pick, the playoffs are out of the picture, why go the through the hassle and drama (and extra money you have to pay whoever gets promoted) at this point?
This summer, that’s a different story.
The Lakers are going to sell their fans a final couple years of Kobe Bryant while they try to rebuild the roster over the next few years. If you are going to showcase Kobe at this point in his career, D’Antoni’s free wheeling system is a poor vehicle. Kobe should be in a half court offense where he gets the ball at the elbow or in the post, maybe have him work off some picks and get the ball while cutting. He can’t run like D’Antoni wants to run. Even last season when Kobe and Pau Gasol were healthy they constantly broke out of D’Antoni’s sets to run what they wanted.
Lakers management could decide not to spend more on another coach this summer, let D’Antoni continue through another likely very rough rebuilding season. Nobody seems to think D’Antoni is the long-term answer, the question remains is he fine in the short term?
In the very short term — the rest of this season — yes. After that the door swings open.